In Defense of the Plane Lady-That Incivility Was Unreal!

Some of the memes and commentary have finally cooled down–and the “plane lady” who suddenly became known to millions following an unfortunate incident on an American Airlines flight has even come out and apologized for what happened.

If you are not familiar, that is probably best. The short version is that this precious lady was having a rough day and got loud and confused before a planned flight.

Here’s what I’ve been waiting for someone to say, and maybe it has been said and I missed it. But there was something terribly unreal about the whole incident that doesn’t seem to be getting mentioned.

If I use my imagination to place myself on that flight, and I see and hear this woman coming up the isle and saying the things she said, what would be my response as a man be?

I can tell you one thing as a saved sinner who walks with the person most know as Jesus Christ–pulling out my smartphone and filming this would have been on my “definitely not” list.

Of course, if I’m not going to film the lady, I certainly would not post a video.

Why would I definitely not film or post such an event?

Because this precious lady is a fellow created being from my Father in heaven, she is therefore my very valuable and precious sister. She is made in the image of God, and as a man, I have a duty to protect her.

Videoing and posting her in a moment when she is having a really bad day is a reprehensible and inhumane thing to do. She is my sister, from the same Father, and she deserves love, care, and to be protected at all costs.

Further, as a father myself with three “girls” (yep, I know, they are fully grown women now, but in my heart they are still my precious “girls”) I couldn’t see this lady in her moment of distress without wanting to reach out and put my arms around her and say, “Hey sweetie, let’s sit down and talk about this. What’s going on in your life?”

She is someone’s daughter, right? How about people show some empathy, love, and discretion rather than just show a moment of struggle that will humiliate her?

Am I right?

In what level of human compassion would videoing and posting said video for all to see be morally acceptable? This is a symptom to the impact our digitally-connected and God-disconnected society has had on our souls.

Virtual Assault

I do not know the sex (yeah I know, gender is the preferred term, but the concept of gender being a construct is a construct. You are a male or a female, period) of the people who posted the various videos that went viral.

But I can say that in God’s Kingdom–if they were men, they need to repent and make things right with the lady they assaulted through filming.

Yet we do not expect that to happen, do we? In a sick society when a weak male athlete can “feel” and declare himself to be of the “gender” woman, and take home all the medals and still show his face in public–our society has obviously too many men who fail the test of biblical manhood. A man cannot be a woman, but too many men are just boys–to cowardly to be what Jesus modeled for them to be.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was long the gold standard in the old-fashioned “oppressive” Christian culture.

Yet too many have rejected the God who gave them life, and are worshipping themselves. Posting a video that gets you a bunch of views and likes–you can make a name for your insecure self and perhaps even monetize the moment.

But She…

I know, Carrot Top was on the flight. She caused him to be delayed, along with all of the other folks on the flight that day. It was certainly an uncomfortable moment, and a lot of apparently untrue allegations were made.

Whatever the case–this lady needed help, not worldwide humiliation. Just because the people on the flight lacked the humility, compassion, and empathy to do so, doesn’t change the truth.

We all need to look out for each other.

In my book Superhero: Being Who God Says You Are I shared the story of a woman I discovered curled up on the floor of a hotel elevator crying. There is a lesson in this story that has to do with the culture of fear in our society and also how the digital manipulation through social media tends to divide us from one another.

The lady in the elevator had been mad at me (initially) because I was unmasked. This was my moment for revenge, when I found her in a compromising position. It was a perfect moment to pull out my phone and make a spectacle of her, right?

Of course not, what kind of a moral monster even thinks that way?

Apparently in our virtually connected world, what matters most is views, likes, and laughing at the struggles of others.

The Solution to Incivility

The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:5-7).

Christ served those who needed help. He, being completely God, could have certainly humiliated those who were weak and struggling.

But instead, he bore with us (and still does) in our weakness.

Our society would be a better, more civil place, if we had “this mind.”

To my fellow created sister Tiffany, just know that we who are followers of the way know you were wronged, and also know that you are greatly loved.

(Image by Yupa Watchanakit/Shutterstock)


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